One of the most challenging aspects of a Colorado divorce is agreeing to a parenting plan. The best interests of the child are paramount. Although there are many configurations that can be used, some may be less effective than others.
Many experts suggest that splitting parenting duties in half is preferable. However, alternating which parent has custody on a weekly basis could be problematic. Despite its simplicity, it can have a negative impact on a child. One concern is that the child will have a full week in which he or she will not see the other parent. This can lead to detachment. Some children experience anxiety issues because of it.
Not all parents are on good terms, and acrimony can spark tension. The full week apart makes phone calls and visits necessary for children to keep in touch with both parents, possibly sowing discord. Work schedules can be affected by an alternating week parenting plan as well. Parents might need to adjust their schedule, pay for child care and have issues with arranging all that is necessary for those weeks. Age is a factor with an alternating schedule, and it may be more effective with an older child. With children younger than 12 years old, it can be complicated.
Parents and their children could benefit from other strategies. One example is a 2-2-3 schedule with a parent having two days, the other parent having two days, and then the child switching back to the first parent for three days. Another option is one parent having the child during the workweek and switching for the weekend. A parenting schedule is just one aspect of a divorce that can be difficult to manage. For help with addressing custody and parenting time, it may be useful to have legal advice from a family law professional to prepare for every eventuality.